Ok I done a post about this a while back but I actually ended up taking it down after a while because of certain events I feel it was no longer relevant.
So now that more time has passed I am going to update my thoughts on this one.
For 2 months after me and my ex broke up we were on very good terms, we probably spoke more in that time than we had for a while. I felt like we were finally back where we were supposed to be, we had been together for 6 years and both made an adult decision that it was no longer working. Everything as far as I knew was going well, until….
He met someone else. Safe to say I didn’t take it well, despite it being a mutual decision it was never going to be easy when either of us met someone else. I will be honest and say I am not proud of my reaction, I genuinely was utterly devastated but the main problem was how he reacted to my reaction. Long story short he was horrible, utterly horrible. It was as if he was a completely different person because I certainly didn’t recognise him. There was a lot of shouting and a lot of really horrible comments that are still burned onto my brain. My biggest upset not being about the end of my romantic relationship but the end of my friendship with my best friend.
With this in mind I want to ask the bigger question, can you remain friends with an ex? Well despite my negative experience now I would still like to argue that yes you can, however it is very much down to circumstances and what the two of you (and only the two of you want).
I feel my biggest regret in my situation is maybe not being realistic enough or brutally honest enough. We both admitted we would struggle with the new boyfriends and girlfriends but what spoke volumes to me upon reflection after our last conversation it struck me that maybe our communication was not as good as it once was. I may have got complacent and simply took him at his word when he said I would also be important to him and that no person would come between me and him.
Was I nieve? Yes probably but I do have to say that I took him at his word because I never had any reason not to. We were best friends before our relationship and as far as I knew we always spoke as honestly as we could with one another. I knew things would have to change as new people came into our lives but I did believe that our friendship was more than just a side effect of our relationship. He truly was my best friend.
If you are currently asking yourself about being friends with an ex I would encourage you to have that conversation with them. Make sure you are both clear on the situation and talk through situations you may find yourselves in. Have an open and honest conversation about your feelings because unresolved feelings can turn ugly, it became very clear in my situation that my ex harboured a lot of anger and hurt over our split and I was not aware of this until our last conversation. Suddenly his actions made more sense, these feelings didn’t make his actions right but they made them easier to understand and if I had this understanding earlier the result may not have been as heartbreaking.
Be very clear about your expectations and honestly treat it like you would a relationship with regards to communication (at least until the initial hard parts are done with). Yes you will need to accept them meeting someone else, you will need to accept you not having the same importance in their life as you once did but that does not mean you cannot both get a genuine friendship out of the remains of your romantic relationship.
Relationships are hard and to be quite honest I do miss mine. Not romantically but I miss the best friend I had and I would still like to believe that friendships can survive a break up.